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Staff standing outside for 2 hours a day in the name of outdoor provision...

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by inky, Feb 11, 2010.

  1. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    And we've been told we can't have hot drinks even though we put them well out of harm's way.

     
  2. shut the door and stay inside as i did today - the children inside are having to sit with gloves on - the world has gone mad!!!
     
  3. Hmm...Do you two posters work at my school by any chance??!!!
     
  4. ha ha! Numerous children still come to school in really flimsy coats, no gloves or hats etc and it is so cold for them outside. They need to do lots of physical activity to keep warm. Because it was really slippy outside today we stayed indoors for the morning just to defrost but yes I do think the world has gone mad. Would you keep the doors open at home and let your children learn outside in freezing temperatures - er no.
     
  5. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    We work at any School Anywhere.

    I should say though, that I'm a great believer in outdoor play. Most of our children live in flats, so outdoors is precious.
     
  6. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    I think in the current weather which is just a little above freezing often, children should be outside for a limited time and that only vigorous physical activities should be offered.
    When the sun comes back, then we need to get outside with all areas of provision. For now, we should certainly have the doors shut and the heating retained. And staff should only be outside for a short period.
     
  7. Sounds great...however...
     
  8. I know I have quoted NellyFUF out of context but hasn't she just defined what we used to call <u>playtime.</u>
    I have always felt that a fixed outside playtime was a good use of time management and efficient deployment of staff and energy.
    We all went out at the same time wearing suitable clothing for a limited time with an adequate amount of staff and there was no faffing around with resources more suitable for inside. There was no misinterpretation of its purpose- this was a time for physical play. It was not perfect but badly executed and without adequate staff ratios neither is the present continuous outside provision.
    Do you think playtime might be reinvented with a few modifications in the future. Of course a newbie would have to do it; it could not be a dinosaur. There might be an INSET on it in an LEA near you- just keep an eye out.
     
  9. I agree with much of the above thread. There's a bit in the guidance "rooms should be maintained at a temperature which ensures the comfort of the children and staff"
    I think we need a big dollop of common sense. Yes they need lots of outdoor play - sorry but I don't agree with going back to playtime only - but this shouldn't be at the expense of indoor play which is ruined if you have to wear coat, gloves and scarf inside. I can't see why we can't have periods where children have to stay inside in winter with only fairly brief outdoor play. also perhaps where they have to go out in Summer due to lack of staff etc., as long as, most of the time, we have free flow. I do wonder if we have been told what to do for so long that we daren't use our own initiative any more..
     
  10. sadika

    sadika New commenter

    My Reception classes have always enjoyed and benefitted from outdoor play - I personally like being outside - it's not perfect as our area is not as large as I'd like, is not surfaced particularly well (and needs re-doing), it's a funny shape and does not contain a wooded/wild area. I think we do pretty well BUT we don't use it when it's very cold, very wet, covered in snow etc (other than briefly to experience these elements!). There are therefore days/weeks when it seems pointless spending time and effort planning outdoor play to fit in with our current learning. When the weather is warmer we may spend all day out there and the whole classroom moves out and all areas of learning get covered. Deep breaths (to prevent frustration!) trying to write etc on a windy day ... why can't we use our judgement and choose the necessary environment for the activities which are going to enhance the children's learning? i.e. not outdoor play just for the sake of saying you've done outdoor play ... fitting in reading groups/using items which are not outdoor friendly as they get blown away,creating things for display etc. It would be OK if we had enough staff to cover and we could have the luxury of an adult outdoors and two others indoors ... dream on!!! If anyone feels they have the answers I'd be more than happy to hear them! Roll on SUMMER!!!!!
     
  11. byjingo

    byjingo New commenter

    I was recently told by a so called EY advisor to say to OFSTED that I had my children outside in ALL and she stressed all, weathers. I said jokingly 'You don't mean in pouring rain do you?' She replied quite seriously that I should say I took them out in ALL weathers.
    I asked her if she thought OFSTED inspectors were stupid and said that I refused to lie to them.
    When OFSTED turned up a few weeks later they certainly did not expect me to have the children out for long periods in cold weather. And as soon as the warmer weather comes we will be out there as much as possible.
     
  12. We are out all day everyday!!!
    Currently because of the cold weather I timetable staff to have a max of 1 hour outside, back in Sept we had a whole morn/afternoon out. Our kids love being out and some will do PSRN, CD and CLL activities outside but not in. One little boy from Poland last week spoke more in one morning than the whole of the term because he was trying to find Incy Wincy spider up the big pipe we have for large water play. Alot of our kids have yards or live in flats, they love den building and racing about.
    I wasn'r convinced initially and went to an Outdoor conference last year, we are lucky to have a big woodland (in the middle of the inner city) and hosted a recent patch meeting on the outdoors. We are looking into being a forest school
     
  13. I observed outdoor play in a school in Sweden last year. The children all played outdoors for a very long time with minimal supervision (none of the supervisors were teachers) and hardly any manmade resources. Also, the school was next to a forest and the children were encouraged to play and explore in it. Unsupervised. The children all came back when the bell rang and there were no major "accidents" ever recalled by staff. And you know what? Not an unhappy face in sight. Wish here had less red tape.
     
  14. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    When we first introduced free flow many years before EYFS we ensured we had a secure area that children couldn't "escape" from and that couldn't be accessed by "strangers". We had it risk assessed by our LA and children were free to use it as they wished sometimes with adults and sometimes without and oddly enough never had more than the odd scrapped knee... but along came EYFS and all the accompanying red tape
     
  15. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Lovely, if your school happens to be next to a forest or a wood with no worries about traffic. I spent much of my childhood in the woods - not in school time but at weekends and during holidays - and if I could wave a magic wand to improve the lives of children in this country's urban areas, they would all have that freedom. Mind you, I didn't get to go into the woods unsupervised with friends until I was seven or so.
    Sometimes, when I see our hyped-up little <strike>boys</strike> ones charging around the classroom, I wonder how much happier they'd be with a huge sloping meadow to charge around, a brook to ford or dam, dens to make and creatures to discover. And, for the fanciful - fairyland to believe in.
    Oh well. I can dream. Mr Crackitt might not agree.

    By the way, one of the most exciting memories of my childhood was of getting lost in the woods in the Great Fog of winter 1962/3. My friend and I were very naughty to go that way and got into Big Trouble when we arrived to school very late but that wood [just an acre in the triangle between houses] was magical to us.
    Please excuse the ramble.

     
  16. sadika

    sadika New commenter

    Lovely memory Inky!!!
    Following our recent snowfalls I was asking my class what they'd done in the snow - a few of them hasn't actually been allowed to go out in it ... I checked with parents and it was true!!!!
     
  17. We had the same...so many of them hadn't made a snowman or made snow angels, so we all went out in the new suits and did just that. There wasn't one child who wanted to go in, the parents commented on the photos when we displayed them. One child with global delay even now points to the photos and says "Snow"
     
  18. I work in Reception class and did the same that was great. But Im finding it more and more difficult to be inspired especially on those days that are damp or wet until lunch time - every piece of equipment is wet before you use it, then its slippy and becomes a risk. Please help what are your activities outside.
     
  19. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    I also remember being two-years-old and crying because my hands were cold when I'd had enough of being outside in the snow.
    Mom let me in, agve me cocoa and a cuddle, and all was well again.

    Are we allowed to give the children cocoa, by the way?
     
  20. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    We do - with marshmallows floating on top
     

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